DW Akademie Film Development

Starting today, filmmakers from Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda are invited to apply for film development funding and training offered by DW Akademie. The open call will run until October 26, 2022


The DW Akademie Film Development Fund is calling filmmakers based in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda to apply for a one-year fellowship program. Potential applicants who have made at least one film and have a concept or script for a feature-length documentary, fiction or hybrid film will be considered. The program is designed to take proposed films through the development stage and make them ready for production.

Natascha Schwanke, DW Akademie Director of Media Development, says: “The continued success of African films in international festivals, in theaters and even on Netflix has shown that filmmaking in Africa is on the rise. The goal of the Film Development Fund is to further support filmmakers – both established and aspiring – who are working to bring African stories to a wider audience.”  

The program, supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), will bring together five candidates from each country to work on the development of their films. Successful applicants will receive €10,000, be matched with an experienced mentor for the duration of the program and have access to tailor-made training and networking opportunities. Workshops and skills development trainings will be led by industry professionals.

The first five fellows from Ethiopia have successfully completed their one-year fellowship. The fellowship for the respective first five filmmakers from Tanzania and Uganda is currently underway. The 2022 call for applications will run simultaneously for all three countries.

Esther Dorn-Fellermann, DW Akademie project manager, says: “The positive and constructive engagement between the filmmakers, mentors and experts made the inaugural programs in all three countries a success. Opening the call for applications for all three countries at once shows DW Akademie’s continued commitment to African filmmaking.”

Eligibility and requirements:

To apply, you must be a permanent resident in one of the countries for which the call for application is open. Applicants who live in the diaspora do not qualify. Applicants should normally have released at least one production locally or internationally. 

Further information about the program and submission guidelines is available here.

The deadline for applications is October 26, 2022. 

For any inquiries, please contact dw-akademie.film-fund@dw.com. 

The DW Akademie Film Development Fund:

The DW Akademie Film Development Fund is specifically designed to support filmmakers in developing their film projects when they might otherwise struggle to get their voices heard and stories told. It is part of a process that seeks to promote authentic local stories to an international audience, ultimately leading to further growth and development in the film sector. With its support of filmmakers in emerging film markets, DW Akademie is actively contributing to social change, freedom of expression, and the economic empowerment of local storytellers.

DW Akademie:

DW Akademie is Deutsche Welle’s center for international media development, journalism training and knowledge transfer. Our projects strengthen the human right to freedom of expression and unhindered access to information. DW Akademie empowers people worldwide to make independent decisions based on reliable facts and constructive dialogue. DW Akademie is a strategic partner of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). We also receive funding from the Federal Foreign Office and the European Union and are active in approximately 60 developing countries and emerging economies.

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